Three Important Local Facilities in 1950s Albion Park Rail

August 24, 2015 at 4:29 pm | Posted in Australia, Family History, Growing up in the 1950s and 60s, Memoir | 49 Comments
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I thought I would show you a few photos of three places in Albion Park Rail where I grew up – two of which led to the growth of our little village.

Albion Park Rail Post Office & Moane’s shop

Moanes shop&PO APR 1951

Albion Park Rail Post Office & Moane’s shop, Photo dated 1951

This is just how the shop looked when we first lived in Albion Park Rail about 1955/6. Moane’s shop was a small business, situated on the main highway (the Princes Highway) that runs all the way from Sydney down into Victoria. Although the road was tarred, it was just a narrow, two-lane thoroughfare. You can see it at the front of the photo. Apart from the highway, all the streets of the village were dirt, with lots of potholes.

The shop sold basic necessities like bread, milk, canned and packaged goods, some fruit and vegetables, newspapers – and lollies.

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The Illawarra Co-operative Dairy Association Milk and Butter Factory

Albion park Butter Factory 1950s

The Illawarra Co-operative Dairy Association’s milk & butter factory

This factory was on Creamery Rd Albion Park Rail,  situated next to the railway line crossing in the early 1950s. As a dairying area, plenty of milk was delivered to the factory. At that time, farmers poured their milk into steel cans and took them to the farm gate. From there, they were picked up and carried to the factory on the back of flatbed trucks. Each cans had an identification stamp for the farm it came from.

You can see a truck there, and some of the unloaded cans of milk. The factory workers wore white, and you can see two of them on the rail platform.

At the milk factory, the milk was pasteurised (not homogenised then) and then much of it sent in tankers by rail to Sydney for bottling. From there, it would be sent to milkmen and shops all over the state. The rest of the milk made into butter at the factory and sold under the trade name Allowrie.

The railway gates next to the factory were always supposed to be kept shut in case a train came. Whenever anyone who lived between the line and the lake (that included us) wanted to go through, they had to get out of their car, open the gates, drive through, and then get out to close them again.

The neighbourhood kids would sometimes open and close the gates for the drivers, hoping the drivers would be generous and give us a penny for doing it. We weren’t supposed to, but most kids didn’t get pocket money in those days, and it was a source of a few pennies that would be eagerly spent on lollies at Moane’s shop.

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Albion Park Railway station

Albion Park railway station c.1914

Albion Park Railway station c.1914

Albion Park Railway station is located at Albion Park Rail (which is how the village got its name), just off the Princes Highway. Although the photo dates from a few decades before we lived there, it is almost identical to how it still was then.

The trains ran mainly for the workers, a large number of whom worked at the Steel Works and other supporting industries in and around Port Kembla. The timetable was geared to take them to and from their three daily shifts. You could pretty well set your watch by them.

Others, office workers, shop assistants and so on who worked in Wollongong, our nearest city, caught trains that ran to another timetable. As there was no local high school, students also had to catch the train to either Dapto or Wollongong. In 1961, I caught the train to Wollongong to attend St Mary’s Catholic College. After the polio epidemic, when I had to change schools in 1962, I had a shorter train ride to Dapto High school.

(c) Linda Visman

Photos from Wollongong City Council’s collection, Illawarra Images.

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  1. Love the old photos that make life look like it is proceeding at a sensible pace.

  2. Beautiful age of simplicity Linda, and yet I suppose it also had its own difficulties. There’s something about old images that that really touch one.

  3. I admire the old photos, too. Lovely post 🙂

  4. Glad you’re documenting this history, Linda. How recently life and the landscape was so dramatically different! (I want to hear more about those lollies!)

    • The lollies? Sweets, candy. I didn’t have many as I grew up, but the ones I did stay with me. I might do a post on what was available then. Thanks for the thought. 🙂

  5. Isn’t history scary? Obviously Frank Lloyd Wright missed out Albion Park Rail, didn’t he? But yes, those are pictures full of memories, and they have to mean a lot in the way they shape a life. When I look at those roofs, though, I have to admit my first thought is ‘hot’!

    • Hot as in the sun on corrugated iron roofs, Frederick? It was certainly rare back then to have roof insulation, so yes, the buildings could get pretty hot indeed! 🙂

  6. Lovely to see that photo of the old general store and post office at Albion Park Rail. However, when that photo was taken the the general store was owned by my grandparents, Jack and May Argust and operated by my grand mother and my mother, Beryl Essery. The Post Office was operated by Grace Timbs.

    There was a separate residence behind the shop in which the Smith family lived.

    Len Moane and his wife didn’t take over until a few years later.

    • Well, that’s great, Allan! I have not even heard of your surname before, and only knew the Moanes there. Perhaps it was because I was only young, & the memories come from later.
      I do remember I Timbs at the PO – I think, but mainly remember Kathy Ryan operating the PO when her parents took over the shop. I only saw Kathy 5-6 weeks ago – I should have asked her!
      I am pleased you saw this post and commented, Allan. Welcome! It is always good to know the real. 🙂 facts

      • Thanks for your reply Linda. Kath Ryan and I were old school friends. Please give her my regards should you see her again.

        Kath’s dad was the station master at the railway station and her mother did a lot of work with the young people of Albion Park Rail. She organised us to perform in concerts at the old Albion Park Cinema and what was know as the Progress Hall at the Rail. Many good memories.

        I noted a photo somewhere(?) taken by you of the corner of Koona and Kanahooka streets. The house you just missed out on at the right hand side of the photo was a boarding house owned by George and Marge Mason. I noticed in a recent Google Maps scan that it has now gone and has been replaced by a much more modern home.

        I left Albion Park Rail in 1959 to join the RAAF but my parents Beryl and Allan Essery remained there until 2002.

        Don’t hesitate to ask should you need help with the history of the Rail around that time. I still have a reasonably good memory for an old bloke.

      • Allan, so good to have your input. My dad died 2 years ago & his memory had already started to go when I talked with him several years before that. So your offer is really appreciated. Do you have an email address I can contact you at?
        Mrs Ryan’s activities with the youth of those times is remembered by my husband Dirk, whose older brothers Chris & John were involved with them. Do you remember the Vismans of Koona St? Dirk and I were only in 5th grade when you left APR, but his brothers were some years older. The eldest was Colin (Cornelis b.1935) who still lives on Koona St.

      • Linda, I am assuming that you husband’s family were the Dutch family that moved in diagonally across the street from Mason’s boarding house. If that is correct then the answer is yet, I did know them. Your husband was much younger then me and his older brothers were somewhat older.

        I noted your reference to ‘Warrila’ butter. Myself and other boys at the time spent a lot of time over that the “Milk Factory” as we knew it. In those days we could wander in and out and spent some time in the “butter room” where the butter was curned and then cut and wrapped into one pound blocks. As I remember it was packed under the ‘Allowrie’ brand named and shipped off to Sydney. That is not to say that there was some packed under the ‘Warrila’ brand name and distributed locally; I just can’t recall it.

        You can email me at allanessery@optusnet.com.au

      • Yes, Allan, you have the right family.
        Correct also re the brand name for the butter packed at the factory – Dirk pointed that out to me as well. It certainly was Allowrie.

  7. Linda and Allan how wonderful to read your blog. Linda! I went to school with your husband Dirk. My name was Colleen Ryan my sisters are Beverley and Fay. We lived in Wooroo Street, Helen and cathy Ryan lived just down the road.
    I remember sitting around the piano with Mrs Ryan on many occasion. and yes Allan we were in the concerts as well. what beautiful old memories this has bought back to me.
    If my memory is correct Allan you were sweet on Beverley.
    I was always hanging on to Bev’s apron strings.
    It would be great to be in touch with a younger life.
    I was the opening year of Albion Park Rail Primary school and the first year of Oak Flats High School.
    Fay married Keith Denniss from Albion Park and her and Keith are good friends with Harry Mason and his wife Marilyn . they are also still friends with Rhonda Martin that lived across the road from Moanes store and married Merve Downes from Yallah.

    I think I still have a photo of the first Albion Park show that we ever went to.I will try and find this.
    I have wonderful memories of growing up in a safe enviroment where we wondered over the hills that have since been quarried away.

    • Hi Colleen. I showed Dirk your comment, but I’m afraid he doesn’t remember you. He went from AP public school to the new one at APR when it opened, but he was already in 5th or 6th class.
      Are you related to Kathy & Helen Ryan? We’ve known them since we were kids, but only see Kath now. She lives next door to Dirk’s eldest brother in Koona St.
      Thanks for reading and commenting. It is always great to get someone from the place where I grew up. 🙂

      • Good Morning Linda,
        I remember your husband he must haave been a year ahead of me. I was in 4th class when we transfered from Albion Park to Albion Park Rail.
        My teacher was Mr Snmodgrass he also lived in Koona Street he started off in a very small house that he couldn’t even stand up properly in. Mr Kell was the Headmaster.
        We are not related to Helen and Kathy Ryan but we were all good friends.
        My sister Bev who is the older of us went to KIama High I think with Allan..
        Fay went to Albion Park Primary and Kiama High..
        Mr Vickers was the Station Master when I was a little girl he and Mr Ryan used to tease the hell out of me.
        My Father Jack Ryan was good friens with Roy Timbs Grace’s father.
        Love to keep in touch so good to have contact with my past I live in Qld now adn have lost contact with everyone.
        Kindest Regards
        Colleen( Ryan) Flashman

      • Gosh, all those names sure are familiar!!

      • Colleen here again , What was your maiden name did you go to A.P.R, SCHOOL?

      • Hi again, Colleen. No, I went to the Catholic school, St Paul’s in Albion Park. My maiden name is Thompson. You may have known my family – we lived at 73 Koona St APR. Dad was there right up to when he died in June 2013. The house has since been sold & will certainly be demolished.

    • Hello again Linda and welcome Colleen. It is so good to have another from our era commenting.

      Colleen, I remember you and your sisters well and can still picture your house in
      Wooroo Street. Ahh, sister Beverley, my first love. I can still remember a conversation at the other Ryan’s tennis court when Beverley asked me how old I was. I was thirteen, so that would place it at 1954. You didn’t elaborate on Beverley and I wonder what life had in store for her.

      Fay and Keith married after I had left the Rail, as did Harry and Marilyn. Harry and I were good mates from about five years of age. After I joined the RAAF and moved away from the Rail and like you, I lost contact. That can probably be attributed to the fact that the airforce moved me frequently to remote and overseas locations, which as completely normal, and I rarely got a chance to visit the Rail even though my parents still lived there.

      The last time I met up with Harry and Marilyn was in 1968 when I returned from a posting to Woomera and had a chance to visit with my parents and catch up with my old school and teenage friends.

      There are many fond memories of Brian Green, Jackie Erskine, George Gatehouse, Ronny Heywood, Arthur (Cookie) Reynolds, big George Richardson, Johnny Downes, Sammy and Merv Downes, Roy Timbs and others. Unfortunately, Brian Green, Jackie Erskine and George Richardson are no longer with us.

      Linda, in your blog you mention Mr Packham. Are you sure you didn’t mean Bert Downes? Lionel Packham and his wife certainly did build and operate a small mixed business, that today would probably be termed a convenience store, on the other side of the coal truck lane between my grandparents shop and their block. They sold that business to Bert and Heather Downes, who come from Woonoona. Heather looked after the shop and Bert was an electrician. Lionen Packham was many things but never an electrician. Bert was electrocuted working on a house in Oak Flats, the shop was consequently sold and Heather and her two daughters moved away.

  8. Hi Allan and Colleen – Are you aware of the interactive map of Wollongong, including Albion Park, Albion Park Rail and Oak Flats, that compares old aerial views with 2014? You can find it by Googling ‘Wollongong Spyglass 1948-51 to 2014’. I’ve also added some 1938 aerials to the ‘Lost Wollongong’ FaceBook site, under Photos / Albums / Aerial Views & Escarpment.

    It is interesting how little that things changed between the 1940’s and early 1970’s.

    Colleen, you would have been one or two years behind me at primary school, as our lot went to Dapto High. I think it was the year after us that started at Oak Flats. I remember Mr Snodgrass teaching (I think) First/Second Class at Albion Park Primary school and being the local theatre projectionist in the old School of Arts building. (He had also taught previously at Tullimbar School). It is strange that I remember details such as him always having several rubber bands around his fingers, but not that he taught at Albion Park Rail School, or that he lived at the Rail.

    Our teacher (Fifth/Sixth class) and first APR Headmaster was Mr Kells, a good teacher, who lived at the western end of Boonerah St, next door to Mrs Mitchell, a (somewhat fearsome) local identity.

    I certainly remember John Schneider (my favourite teacher at Albion Park), who had third/fourth class, and I still see him and his wife Helen occasionally on my visits to the Rail. (I’ve posted a few Albion Park and Albion Park Rail School photos on the ‘Dapto School Photos’ FaceBook page.)

    Allan – The APR shops that I remember are Moane’s general store, Fells’ small shop next door that sold Matchbox Models of Yesteryear toys, fireworks and lollies (all the important stuff for a young kid) and later, Tommy Horsfall’s brick complex on the corner of Creamery Road. Oh yes, and O’Gorman’s butcher’s shop, complete with sawdust on the floor, near the corner of Station Road.

    p.s. I don’t think that Linda mentioned a Mr Packham, and that name doesn’t mean anything to me either. But then again, if he didn’t own a toy/fireworks/lolly shop, why would it?

    • If you read through Linda’s story of her early life you will find her reference to a Mr Packham wiring up her partents house while her mother was out. However, as I said, Lionel Packham was many things but not an electrician. That was Bert Downes. Some may remember that Mrs Packham was the Sunday School teacher in the tiny church building at the northern corner of Creamery Road and the highway.

      The interactive map is interesting and I can name the properties, who lived in them and what was built around them later. If I get some time this afternoon I will run up a list.

    • Just letting you know Allan & Colleen, that sailabilitytoronto is my husband Dirk. 🙂

      • Good evening Guys
        Great to keep talking, Allan Beverley married Kevin Armstrong that she met at the Oak Flats sailing club they moved to Engadine and were married for about 25 years sadly they divorced and Bev now lives just out of Yamba on the North Coast N.S.W.with her fury friends.She is in excellent health she was tickled pink when I told her of the blog. sadly Bev does not have a computer and is not able to use one so I will keep telling her of our conversations. All the names that you have mentioned I can also remember. You and Bev are a lot older than me but I went to school with Marie Erskine and warren Gatehouse I think George Gatehouse has passed away as well.
        Do you remember the King family Valmay would have gone to Kiama High same time as you I think and Denese and I were friends all through school we were bridesmaids for each other when we got married sadly lost contact.
        /do you remember Lesley Sanderson she was always sweet on George Gatehouse. Leskey lived in Koona street.
        I remember Fay & Kathy Ryan riding horses on Hickeys farm Kathy’s horse chased her around a tree trying to bite her
        Dirk you were in my class, I mixed Mr Snodgrass up with Mr Schnider he was also my teacher in fourth class and my favourite teacher as well.
        I have found some old school photoes from AP. AND APR I will get them up because I am sure it is you in at least one of the photoes.
        I can still remember you wearing your leather pants to School.
        If I am right you may remember Patricia Treager Lynette Paine and Bruse Biship .
        Talk to you all soon
        Colleen

      • It would be great to see your photos, Colleen, though I’m not sure how you’ll do it here. Let me know if you can’t & I’ll send you my email address.

      • G’Day Linda, Dirk & Colleen,

        My apologies for not answering your questions earlier, Colleen.

        Colleen, I recall taking Beverely to a Saturday Matinee at the Dapto movie theatre. I wonder if she remembers that?

        If I remember rightly, Beverley was good friends with Ronny Heywood’s sister Betty. There may be a few other names you remember; Bobby Hartley, Eric Green and Joe Katey.

        Your suspicion that George Gatehouse had passed came as no surprise. I suspected as much myself as I am planning a nostalgia trip to the Rail in the new year and was looking up telephone numbers and addresses. I couldn’t find anything on George nor Arthur (Cookie) Reynolds.

        The King family and Lesley Sanderson names ring a bell but I am unable to put faces to the names. Where did the King family live and exactly on Koona Street did Lesley live?

        Linda, reading through your early life history I noted a comment about Max the milkman. That would have been Max Griffin. Max and his Dad had a farm across the road and up the hill a bit from Needam’s surgery. Their farm went down the hill and covered that block of ground where the Oaks Hotel was later built.

        The horse you mention was a bit of a rogue in that if the gate to his yard was inadvertently left open he take himself down the paddock and wade out into the middle of the small dam that was situated right where the hotel was later built. Max would have a hell of a time getting the horse out of the dam to do his milk run and would eventually have to wade in and haul him out.

        As kids we used to go up to Griffin’s farm and ride that horse. His favourite trick was to wait until we were on his back then gallop down to the dam and jump in. It was impossible to get him to move out of the dam and we would have to dismount into the water and wade out, leaving the horse in there.

        Dirk, I remember Phil O’Gorman’s butcher shop well. I knew Phil for most of my younger life and when I was training for my pilots licence at the local aero club Phil gave me a part time job making the sausages. The money I earned was not much but it did help pay for my flying lessons and I suppose in that way he contributed to my later flying career. My first flying instructor was an ex-English airforce fighter pilot by the name of Mat Mallory. Mat and his family lived right across the road from your parents house for a short while.

        Regards
        Allan E

  9. I’ve just found your blog Linda and all the information from folk about Albion Park Rail in the 1950s. I’d searched online for Griffins Farm. My mother and father – Laurence and Kay Smith must’ve bought the farm – we moved to Albion Park Rail in the mid 1950s and lived at 243 Princes Highway, Albion Park Rail. I was friends with the Orange family down the road – Bryda and Gordon Orange who had a poultry farm. Gordon’s brother was John, a teacher. I worked for a time in the library at Wollongong Tech. College. My dad was a builder and subdivided the land running from 243, to where the hotel was/is. They put in a road – Kaylaur Crescent in about 1957 and my dad built houses there. They left for Queensland in the late 1960s. A Mrs Macdonald lived opposite us on the Highway. She later moved to Cowra.

    I remember my mother organised a concert for St Peters Church, at which Lucky Starr performed. I’ve still got a Bible presented to my mother – Mrs K. Smith by St. Peter’s Church Committe, Albion Park Rail, date 4th April 1965. I think it was in acknowledgment of her efforts for the concert.

    My mother belonged to a dog club, and bred dachshunds.

    I’d love to hear from anyone who knew my parents from that time.

    Kind regards,

    Zillah (Smith) Williams

    • Great to see another person from Albion Park Rail, Zilla! We just arrived home from a visit there today.
      I will show your comment to my husband, as he will know more than I do as we kept pretty much to ourselves & I didn’t know many people apart from those we did have contact with for work, church, school, etc.

      • Thank you for your reply Linda. Lovely to hear from you.

        Zillah

  10. Hi Guys Colleen here again.
    Sorry I have not replied for so long, between Xmas and School holidays life has been hectic.
    Allan Bev does remember going to the movies with you as teenagers. it has given her a real boost remembering it all. Did you have your trip back to the Rail ? How did it go. I have not been back for so long. What part of the world do you live in now?. I found a photo of Mum, Beverley Fay and myself at Albion Park show the first year we moved down the coast. Allan I think it is the way you would rember Bev.
    There was a farm next door to us in Wooroo Street that was owned by the Hickey family there were two brothers from memory Kevin and I think the other brother was Bob but not to sure.
    Dirk I was going through some old photoes of Mr Snodgrass at Albion Park and a few others, I also have some with Mr Kell at Albion Park Rail. I will put them in an email and Linda can put them up I can remember about 80% of the names I hope they ones that you are in.
    Does any one know any thing of Judy and Rhonda House they would have lived near you Linda. There was also the Bruce and Stan Bishop although I think Bruce died o cancer many years ago.I
    Zilla welcome to our Blog. I do not remember you but I remember the Orange family well. Mrs Orange taught Sunday School. I remember Mr Orange took all the Sunday school Class to Wollongong to see The Ten Commandments in his old truck even than I think we would have looked a fairly strange lot.
    How lovely it is to have these old memories coming back. It would be lovely if some more people joined.
    Kind Regards to All.
    colleen Flashman (Ryan)

    • G’Day All,
      Colleen, the farm near your old home was indeed owned by the Hickey family, or at least the grandmother that everybody knew as Nan Hickey. The other part of the Hickey family, Frank and Iris, lived in a small cottage directly across the road from the Milk Factory manager’s house on Creamery Road.
      There were three boys – John, Kevin and Eddie. John lived at home with his parents, Kevin lived with his grandmother at the farm and Eddie moved back and forth between the two. There was also a lot of conjecture as to whether Kevin was one of the brothers or a cousin.
      No, I haven’t gotten around to the trip up the coast to the Rail yet. Things don’t happen in a hurry around here these days.
      Being in the airforce we got to move about every two years and it gets into your blood. As a consequence my working life after the airforce meant that we kept moving.
      Having lived in many places throughout Australia and overseas and after losing my wife to cancer, I finally chose to retire near Lakes Entrance in Victoria to be a bit closer to my family. I have two sons living in Melbourne but didn’t fancy going back to big city life and so here I am in a quiet neck of the woods and only three hours from Melbourne.
      It would be good to see some of your old photos, especially a shot of Beverley. I was pondering the possibility of some sort of reunion should enough old Railites got to know about Linda’s blog.
      Zillah, you were a bit after my time at the Rail but it is good to have another piece of the jigsaw in place.

      Regards to all,
      Allan E

      • Reading the posts of you folk who were so much part of the Rail community makes me wish I’d been more a part of it myself. While my parents were developing the area they’d bought for building (they built the road which is now called Kaylaur Crescent – named by combining their names of Laurence and Kathleen) I was on a working holiday in England – my family were all from England, having come to Australia in 1948. My dad had originally come here when he was 17 under the Dreadnought Scheme, and loved it here—at Glen Innes and later in Sydney. He had to go back home for family reasons and returned as soon as he was able after the war, bringing my mother and myself.

        It was while in England (1957/8) I met John Orange who was also overseas on a trip. Recently I searched online for Gordon and Bryda Orange, but they had died. Ruby Macdonald, who lived opposite us, I later discovered had moved to Cowra, NSW.

        One thing I remember from Albion Park Rail days was going to stay with a couple of friends in the Ranger’s cottage at Jamberoo. Just for a few days. I expect that old wooden building is long since gone, but it was a magical place. Heavens! I’ve just looked it up on the Internet and it seems that it’s now a Theme Park.

        Kind regards,
        Zillah

      • I particularly remember the name Kaylaur Crescent, Zillah, because my sister Pauline was a postie on a bike delivering mail in that area at one time.
        That theme park is big. I haven’t been there, just driving past going to Jamberoo at times when we’re down in the area. My kids went there in its early days, & other relatives go there occasionally now.

      • Linda, although my time at Albion Park was brief compared with that of others posting, I’ll always feel a connection with it because of Kaylaur Crescent.

        A couple of years ago I contacted Shellharbour City Council website to ask for information about Kaylaur Crescent. My query was sent to the curator of Tongarra Museum, Tamara Hynd. She said: “Kaylaur Cres was built on the site of the old Timbs farm. We were under the impression that the crescent was put in much later. Nehme Avenue to the east of Kaylaur was added in the 1970s and we assumed Kaylaur would have been built about the same time. Any information you have to the contrary would be very useful for our records.” Her email address, if anyone is interested is: Tamara.Hynd@shellharbour.nsw.gov.au

        Naturally I replied with information about my family, but it appears Tamara would be very interested in anything this group could contribute.

        Do you know about this museum Linda? I imagine Tamara would be very interested in your blog. 🙂

      • I do know the museum, Zillah – the one in Albion Park. We have been there several times over the last few years. Great stuff there.
        I suppose I should send Tamara the link to this blog. Thanks for the suggestion. 🙂

      • Good to see the continued interaction on this post, Allan. If you do manage to get up to APR, you could let me know & I’ll see if we can get there at the same time. 🙂

    • I remember the House girls’ names Colleen, but didn’t know them. My elder sister Pauline may have though.
      My younger sister Sheelagh worked at Orange’s poultry farm, about 1968-69 I think it would have been. Would you have known her?
      It’s good to see the interest from ex-APR residents in this post. 🙂

  11. Does anyone remember the surname Bowland in connection with Albion Park Rail?

    • I’m afraid I don’t recall that name at all.

      • Hello Linda, Zillah and Colleen if she is still tuned in. It has been a while since we talked. My apologies for the tardy reply.
        Zillah, the name Bowland sticks in my mind clearly because I have had something to do with that name, but I just can’t picture how, why or when. Do you have some further info that may jog my memory into action?

      • Hullo Allan. I’ve yet to talk to my contact who lived there to share about our common link to Albion Park Rail. But I did look up on the internet and there was, and I think maybe still is, a construction company with someone of the name Bowland involved in it. Does that ring a bell? I won’t know more for a couple of weeks when I can ask him. Thank you for your input.

      • Hi Zillah,
        The construction company you speak of wouldn’t go back as far as the 1950’s and in fact I can’t recall any construction companies in APR during that era. There were a number of individual builders who popped up in the mid to late 50’s but the Bowland name doesn’t ring a bell there either.

        There is something niggling me from the back of what is left of my mind. There was a small house almost directly across the highway from the old Progress Hall. My memory tells me it was the home of a widow/divorcee and her two sons. The boys were much older than me and would possibly be in their late 80′ by now and unlikely to be involved in any industry. As far as I can recall the family disappeared from the scene in late 50’s or early 60’s.

        I’m not one hundred percent sure but the name Bowland keeps my memory returning me to that house and family.

        Let’s wait and see what additional information you can dig up.

  12. Hi Guys,
    Colleen here it has been a long time still have some photos to upload waiting for my granddaughter to help. I will ask my older sisters Beverley and Fay if they remember the Bowland family. Fay still lives in Gerringong so she may remember.
    Does any one remember Albion Park Building supplies. I went to school with Patricia
    Treager I think her sister was Robyn their father was a part owner although he died quite young. I have a feeling they lived in Kaylour cres It so strange when you start reading this blog how many people it brings back to mind. It would be nice to see some recent photos of everyone. Alan are you on Facebook tried to find you no luck.
    Zillah we must have known each other I was in the same class as Francis Orange
    and went to Sunday School Mrs Orange was the Teacher.
    Church was held in the old Progress Hall until the new church was built on the hill.
    That’s all for now my computer is playing up and really needs rebooting.
    Kind regards to all
    Colleen

    • Hi Colleen,

      Welcome back to the conversation.

      I remember the Albion Park Building Supplies very well, possibly because the site of their warehouse/timber yard was once the site of my grandparents, Jack and May Argust, first house in Albion Park Rail.

      The Treagers were part of the family group that started out with the saw mill on Station Street and just up the road from Phil O’Gorman’s butcher shop and almost opposite the old Hartley family house. My dad worked at the saw mill for some time.

      I didn’t know Patricia but I knew her dad Vern Treager, and yes he did die early from a heart attack if I recall correctly. Also, at the time of Vern’s death they lived on the highway only a few houses north of the old Progress Hall. My uncle, Keith Argust, was, from memory, their next door neighbour but one. However, that is not to say that the family didn’t move after Vern’s passing.

      Colleen, no I am not on Facebook. I am not a fan of social media such as Facebook, Twitter, et al and instead write political and semi-political articles for on-line news magazines.

      It seems that you granddaughter is very similar to my oldest. Her father, my son, is a professional computer programmer but when I have trouble with my computer I call in my granddaughter.

      Best wishes to all,

      Allan

    • Hello Colleen. Great that memories are coming out of you all reading this. 🙂
      My brother used to work at AP Building Supplies – late 70s-early 80s I think.

    • Hullo Colleen,
      My father, Laurence Smith (Laurie) was a builder at Albion Park Rail in the mid-fifties/sixties so he would have used the Albion Park Building supply place I’m sure. And he and my mother built Kaylaur Crescent. They named it Kay (after my mother Kay, or Kathleen) and Laur after my dad Laurence. I was overseas when all that went on (1956/7) and when I came back I moved to Sydney but used to come home at weekends and my dad would meet me at the station. My mother had kept a meal for me which I ate while watching “77 Sunset Strip” on TV 🙂

      I knew Bryda and Gordon Orange but wasn’t at school in Albion Park Rail. I’d have been a good bit older than you, I think.

      I’ll be interested to see if your sisters remember the Bowland family.

      I’m on Facebook (though it confuses me somewhat). Maybe we could link up.

      All the best,
      Zillah


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